Welcome to my blog, where a 30-something couple from the UK renovate and extend an old cottage, build some outbuildings, raise some hens and grow firewood trees and vegetables on our Acre in Hampshire. It's a bit like a smallholding but without too many animals, so we call it a homestead - living within our means, relying on ourselves and having a wonderful life!


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Oak Framing - The First Day

A really significant day this week - the first delivery of green oak* arrived from Venables Brothers, a sawmill in Shropshire.

A sight recap for new readers - we are building an oak framed barn of about 80 square meters in our garden, in which we are planning to host our wedding reception this coming June. After the wedding, it will be converted into a double garage, workshop and garden room. I'm building the whole thing - how many people get to build their own wedding reception venue?

I deliberately scheduled the delivery to arrive when I was at home - but Sod's Law kicked in and the wagon arrived before I was home. Kristy did a great job helping the driver offload everything...

That little pile doesn't look like much, but it this stuff is HEAVY. Green oak weighs approximately 1 ton per cubic metre, so even the very shortest lengths in this picture are about 35kg each. In all, I ordered 1.3 tonnes of oak, but the sawmill will oversupply if there is any doubt about the structural qualities of the timber - meaning we have more like two tonnes of oak here... For the next delivery I'll be hiring a fork lift truck - that order will contain five lengths that will weigh 300kg each!

A quick check of the order, and it was stacked in piles dependant on use - I have ordered enough to do all the soleplates (the oak that sits on the small brick walls at the building's perimeter), all the curved windbraces (or knees if you are a boatbuilder - to stop the structure racking under wind load) and the log store that will be closest to the house. They are stacked with air gaps all around to prevent fungal growth as the oak is stored.

These are the braces - cutting and shaping these will probably be the most labour-intensive part of the build...

These are all the soleplates - when I have cut the end joints and mortices ready to accept uprights, they will be fixed to the brick dwarf wall with stainless steel studs epoxyed into the concrete slab, with a damp proof membrane under them.

I also finished my sawhorses this week - I need to buy a bit more timber to make a fourth small horse, and I have two much taller horses which are the same height as my Superjaws clamping sawhorse.

The next post will contain some really exciting things - mostly sawing, mortising, cutting joints and making sawdust!

*not green in colour, but green as in unseasoned. The oak is sawn to size soon after the tree is cut, which has three effects - it is cheaper to buy than dried oak, it is MUCH easier to work, and it is still full of water and therefore HEAVY!

1 comment:

  1. Really a superb Idea! Can you share some ideas with me how can I use my large garden area for my party before my wedding? I have booked an outdoor San Diego Wedding venues for wedding, but I am throwing a small party to my close friends and neighbours before my wedding. So help me.